Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Wednesday a committee of local elected officials and community leaders to drive the search for a new police chief, after committing to the search in March.
Since Harrell took office in January he has repeatedly expressed his satisfaction with interim Chief Adrian Diaz, who he encouraged to apply for the permanent role in March and who has temporarily held the role since former Chief Carmen Best resigned in 2020. A spokesperson for the police department confirmed Wednesday that Diaz has applied for the permanent position.
But, the mayor must consider at least three applicants from a national search, according to the city’s charter.
To conduct the national search, the city has hired the Public Sector Search & Consulting firm, which led the city’s 2018 search for a chief and has conducted searches for cities including Bellevue, San Francisco and Dallas, Texas, for $75,000.
Thoughtful input from public safety advocates and residents across Seattle will play a critical role in our search for our next permanent Chief of Police,” Harrell said in a news release Wednesday.
“Not only will the person we hire be tasked with leading our department and addressing rising crime and gun violence, they’ll also need to be a partner in developing innovative public safety solutions and working alongside the community to respond to local needs and build trust.”
Applications for the position are due July 5. The firm will present a list of applicants to the search committee, which will be tasked with identifying five finalists for the mayor to consider.
A spokesperson for the mayor said Harrell hopes to have an appointment to present to the city council for approval in the fall.
In addition to the committee and firm, Harrell says he will collect input from the public through a survey and new website, available at seattle.gov/mayor/one-seattle-initiatives/chief-search. Both are available in English, Amharic, Chinese (traditional), Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The search committee includes:
- Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez
- Seattle City Councilmember and Public Safety and Human Services Committee Chair Lisa Herbold
- Lieutenant Scott Bachler, Seattle Police Management Association
- Prachi Dave, policy and advocacy director, Public Defender Association; Commissioner, Community Police Commission
- Gabe Galanda, managing lawyer, Galanda Broadman, PLLC
- Erin Goodman, executive director, Sodo Business Improvement Area
- Esther Lucero, CEO, Seattle Indian Health Board
- Jim Pugel, former SPD Chief of Police
- Robert Saka, former King County Charter Commission Member
- Rachel Smith, president & CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
- Mary Ellen Stone, CEO, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
- Reverend Harriett Walden, Founder, Mothers for Police Accountability; co-chair, Community Police Commission
- Natalie Walton-Anderson, Criminal Division chief, Seattle City Attorney’s Office
- Bishop Reggie Witherspoon, Mount Calvary Christian Center
Applications for the position can be submitted to Gary Peterson at Gary@PublicSectorSearch.com until 4 p.m. on July 5.